Toyota Motor Company, Duke Energy and nonprofit energy industry initiative Energy Systems Network are participating in a smart grid pilot project in Indiana.
The aim of the project will be power grid load equalization and the establishment of an optimized vehicle-charging scheme.
Toyota will provide five Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicles for regular use by consumer households supplied by Duke Energy in the Indianapolis area. In addition, a charging station and a home gateway communication system will be installed in each household to allow monitoring and optimization of charging. The collected data will be used to evaluate the performance of the communication system between the vehicle and the grid, and also to examine the effectiveness of the charging management system.
The project will seek to equalize day-and-night load on the electric power grid through a demand response system, which is based on communication standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. These standards provide a bi-directional digital communication protocol between vehicles and utility companies.
The program will also seek to develop an appropriate scheme to optimally manage charging through a variable toll system. Users will be able to automatically create their own personal charging strategy, such as charging during off-peak periods to minimize electricity costs.
The project is scheduled to begin in early 2013 and to run for about one year.
Earlier this month, GE and wind turbine maker Urban Green Energy installed what they call the world’s first integrated wind-powered charging station for electric vehicles, and announced plans to add more this year in the US for commercial and government customers. The Sanya Skypump, which pairs UGE’s vertical wind turbines with GE’s electric vehicle charging technology, was installed at Cespa’s headquarters near Barcelona.